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Gov. Whitmer Announces $290 Million to Rebuild Water Infrastructure, Supporting 4,350 Jobs


April 22, 2024



Gov. Whitmer Announces $290 Million to Rebuild Water Infrastructure, Supporting 4,350 Jobs

  EGLE to expand financing options helping communities replace lead pipes, upgrade water systems 


LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced a $290 million expansion of the MI Clean Water Plan, utilizing existing authority from the bipartisan, voter-approved 2002 Great Lakes Water Quality Protection Bond. These resources will help communities across the state ensure safer, cleaner, and more affordable drinking water and water management resources for their residents through an expansion of the state’s low-interest loan offerings.


“Every family in Michigan deserves access to safe drinking water and to know that we are protecting our lakes—both Great and small,” said Governor Whitmer. “That is why I am proud that to announce that we are supporting communities across Michigan with $290 million of existing, voter-approved authorizations to keep building up water infrastructure under our MI Clean Water Plan. Since I took office, we have invested over $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities, supporting 57,000 good-paying jobs, but we know we still have more work to do. I will work with anyone to get more shovels in the ground and build or repair critical water infrastructure. Together, let’s protect access to clean drinking water, lower water bills for families and communities, and fight for our most precious natural resource.” 


This newly available financing supports critical water infrastructure projects like lead service line removals, rehabilitation and upgrades to drinking water and wastewater plants, improvements to sewer systems, and much more. The money will be split between the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and will be available through loans and low interest financing this year.


Since January 2019, the State of Michigan has invested more than $4 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state. But even these significant investments are not enough to meet the needs of Michigan communities. The need from communities across the state is substantial. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 EGLE provided historic financing and funding opportunities to communities but was still only able to fund $1.7 billion of the over $5 billion in community requests.  This funding shortfall will continue in FY 2025, where the department received over $3.5 billion in project requests from communities but expects to have less than $720 million available after exhausting significant one-time federal resources. Most of the state’s water systems are over 50 years old, and a significant portion are approaching 100 years of service life. Recent reports have highlighted that Michigan has an annual gap of between $860 million to $1.1 billion in water infrastructure needs due to decades of deferred maintenance.


“Every family deserves to have confidence that their drinking water is safe and that our world-class waters are protected,” said Phil Roos, EGLE Director. “Ensuring access to affordable, clean drinking water and safeguarding our Great Lakes is a top priority for Michiganders. That’s why we’ve leveraged billions in state and federal funds to assist Michigan communities in upgrading their water infrastructure, but there’s more work to do. These additional resources will provide an additional tool in the state’s toolbox to ensure we continue to make progress on rebuilding and modernizing our water infrastructure.”  


"Michigan's commitment to leveraging federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law underscores our dedication to safeguarding our precious water resources," said Zachary Kolodin, Michigan's chief infrastructure officer and director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office. "With support from President Biden and our representatives in Washington, Michigan has applied for and won hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that directly benefits our local communities. By investing in our water infrastructure, we're ensuring access to clean water for families and preserving the beauty of our lakes so generations of Michiganders can enjoy our state's natural resources."

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for every $1 million invested in water infrastructure, 15 jobs are created, and studies have shown a $6 return for every dollar invested in water infrastructure. 


“I have heard from local elected officials and community leaders from every corner of the state about the urgent need to replace aging water and sewer infrastructure,” said Senate Appropriations Chair Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing). “Whether that means preparing our drains to handle record rainfall or swapping out lead service lines to guarantee clean drinking water for everyone, the need is clearly there. Expanding the MI Clean Water Plan will help more communities access the resources they need to provide for their residents right now, while we continue working toward sustainable policy and funding solutions to these water infrastructure problems.” 


“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in our collective effort to ensure clean water for all Michiganders,” said state Representative Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township). “The $290 million expansion of the MI Clean Water Plan is an example of our commitment to safeguarding public health and investing in the well-being of our communities. I'm proud to see this initiative directly benefit Delta Township and grateful for the dedication of all involved in making this expansion a reality.”


"The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association applauds the Governor for her continued leadership on investing in Michigan's infrastructure,” said Rob Coppersmith, Executive Vice President of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. “These critical funds will help communities make much needed repairs on aging water and sewer infrastructure systems that all Michiganders rely on. We look forward to working with Michigan's leaders on finding a long-term funding solution to ensure the strength and reliability of these vital infrastructure systems for generations to come.”


“Our water is central to Michigan’s economy, our health and our way of life, so we must invest in protecting it and do everything to clean up sources of pollution,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Governor Whitmer is making cleaning up our water and upgrading our infrastructure a top priority, and these latest funds will spur important projects in communities across the state.”


“Plumbers know that high-quality water infrastructure is critical to keeping families safe,” said Price Dobernick, President of the Michigan Pipe Trades Association. “We support today’s $290 million investment that will create and support good-paying, union jobs for our brothers and sisters while ensuring Michiganders have access to clean drinking water. We are grateful to Governor Whitmer for prioritizing water infrastructure—a total of $4 billion since she took office, supporting 57,000 jobs—and will keep rolling up our sleeves to fix pipes, replace sewers, and handle everything in between.”


“As cities and villages across Michigan work to address their ongoing water infrastructure needs, we are excited to hear the governor is announcing an additional $290 million in resources for local infrastructure,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “Through our partnership with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and philanthropy, we look forward to helping our communities access these resources in an effective and efficient manner through the MI Water Navigator helpdesk.”


More information on this MI Clean Water Plan expansion can be found here.


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